Get Smart About Antibiotics: For Healthcare Professionals

[Victoria] Hi. My name is Victoria Nahum. And, I know a lot about
antibiotic resistance. I know because in 2006,
my stepson Joshua died from an antibiotic-resistant
infection he caught from receiving medical care
during a hospital stay. He was only 27. Please watch the short,
informative video that follows on how you, as a
healthcare professional, can help stop antibiotic
resistance in its tracks. [Katherine] Antibiotic
resistance is one of the world’s most pressing
public health problems. Because of it, infections that
were once easily treatable with antibiotics are
becoming ever more dangerous, causing treatment failures,
prolonged suffering for children and adults, and sometimes
even death. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics promotes
the development of antibiotic-resistant
bacteria. Every time a person takes
antibiotics, sensitive bacteria, bacteria that antibiotics can
still kill, are wiped out, but resistant bacteria are
left to grow and multiply. Though antibiotics are
completely ineffective against viral infections
like the common cold, flu, most sore throats,
bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections,
they are still commonly and wrongly prescribed. Smart use of our
antibiotics is key to controlling the
growth of resistance. It is estimated that
of those patients who visit an outpatient
provider in the United States, over half of antibiotics
prescribed are inappropriate. These patients are
usually seeking care for acute respiratory
infections caused by viruses, which don’t respond
to antibiotics. It’s also important to recognize that antibiotics are
not harmless drugs. They cause one out of five
emergency department visits because of severe side effects. They are also the
most frequent cause of severe side effects
in children. Antibiotics also promote
Clostridium difficile, which causes deadly diarrhea. Clostridium difficile is a
growing problem in the hospital and in the community, with nearly half a million
infections each year, most resulting from
antibiotic use. Using antibiotics wisely,
and only when needed, can help you provide
high quality and safe healthcare
to your patients. Here are some ways you, as
a healthcare professional, can help prevent the spread
of antibiotic resistance, do what’s best for your patient, and help preserve these
life-saving medications for the good of all
of our patients: Prescribe an antibiotic
only when it is most likely to benefit the patient. If it’s unclear if an
antibiotic is needed, consider using a
wait-and-see approach. Most patients are seeking
advice regarding what to do to feel better. So, provide recommendations
to alleviate symptoms. When an antibiotic is indicated,
prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose for
the right duration. And, always remind patients to use the antibiotic
as instructed. For more information on the latest clinical
practice guidelines for common infections,
visit [Victoria] Please, remember that antibiotics are
a medical necessity and when used properly they
can save thousands of lives, but when used improperly
they are a threat to us all. I hope this short
video will help you to keep your patients
safe and well.

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